Sheriff Antonio Estrada left office after seven terms at the end of 2020. Now his top aide has gone as well.

Capt. Ruben Fuentes, who served as second-in-command for Estrada for approximately 13 years, stepped down from the Sheriff’s Office on Friday, Jan. 8, according to the county’s new sheriff, David Hathaway.

“This is not a removal ‘for cause.’ Capt. Fuentes is not being replaced for any failure on his part,” Hathaway told the NI in an email. “As a matter of fact, I have complimented him personally in front of the command staff for his years of service.”

Fuentes joined the Sheriff’s Office as a detention officer in 1990. He then served as deputy, detective, patrol sergeant and lieutenant of the jail division before being named captain in 2007.

Moving forward, Hathaway said, Fuentes will become a member of the Sheriff’s Office reserve program and will retain a patrol vehicle.

He added that he hasn’t chosen a permanent replacement for the captain position, but in the meantime has designated Lt. Gerardo Castillo as acting captain and chief deputy.

Hathaway is scheduled to discuss the hiring of a replacement at the Feb. 19 County Board of Supervisors meeting, as a “courtesy for their approval,” he said.

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